Umrah pilgrims return to Grand Mosque after Hajj 2021

Umrah pilgrims return to Grand Mosque after Hajj 2021
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Umrah pilgrims return to the Grand Mosque to perform the lesser pilgrimage on Sunday after the end of Hajj. (SPA)
Umrah pilgrims return to Grand Mosque after Hajj 2021
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Umrah pilgrims return to the Grand Mosque to perform the lesser pilgrimage on Sunday after the end of Hajj. (SPA)
Umrah pilgrims return to Grand Mosque after Hajj 2021
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Umrah pilgrims return to the Grand Mosque to perform the lesser pilgrimage on Sunday after the end of Hajj. (SPA)
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Updated 25 July 2021

Umrah pilgrims return to Grand Mosque after Hajj 2021

Umrah pilgrims return to Grand Mosque after Hajj 2021

MAKKAH: Umrah pilgrims returned to the Grand Mosque to perform the lesser pilgrimage on Sunday after the successful and safe end of Hajj 2021.
Pilgrims will enter the Grand Mosque through specific gates in order to maintain precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure social distancing.
Specific locations have also been allocated for performing prayers and pilgrims will follow markings on the floor when performing tawaf as was seen during Hajj and throughout the coronavirus pandemic.


Saudi aid agency KSrelief delivers food aid to Mali, medical support to Uruguay

Saudi aid agency KSrelief delivers food aid to Mali, medical support to Uruguay
Updated 17 September 2021

Saudi aid agency KSrelief delivers food aid to Mali, medical support to Uruguay

Saudi aid agency KSrelief delivers food aid to Mali, medical support to Uruguay

BAMAKO: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center recently launched a project to distribute food aid to the poor in Mali.

An event to mark the distribution was attended by Saudi ambassador to Mali Khalid Al-Khalid, a KSrelief team and a number of Malian officials.

The aid includes 15,038 bags of rice, weighing 752 tons. It will be distributed to a number of Malian regions, benefiting 120,304 individuals.

It comes within the framework of humanitarian and relief projects being implemented by the Kingdom, through KSrelief, for countries and peoples around the world.

Meanwhile, KSrelief delivered medical and preventive assistance to Uruguay in order to help the country combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of KSrelief, Saudi Ambassador to Uruguay Eyad bin Ghazi Hakim officially handed over the support in the presence of Uruguayan Minister of Public Health Daniel Salinas.

Salinas said that Uruguay has “benefited greatly” from Saudi assistance in its fight against the pandemic.


Saudi Arabia raises awareness on World Patient Safety Day

Saudi Arabia raises awareness on World Patient Safety Day
Updated 17 September 2021

Saudi Arabia raises awareness on World Patient Safety Day

Saudi Arabia raises awareness on World Patient Safety Day

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has joined the world in celebrating World Patient Safety Day 2021.

The Saudi Patient Safety Center said that the 72nd World Health Assembly, affiliated with the World Health Organization, adopted in May 2019 a global action on patient safety, which guarantees celebrating a world day on patient safety each year.

The SPSC noted that this year saw the inauguration of an awareness campaign under the theme “safe maternal and newborn care,” which aims at raising community awareness on the safety of mothers and newborns.

It also aims to support the best health practices to reduce risks and deaths that can be avoided during delivery.


Deal signed to empower locals in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah community

Deal signed to empower locals in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah community
Updated 17 September 2021

Deal signed to empower locals in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah community

Deal signed to empower locals in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah community

RIYADH: The Diriyah Gate Development Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with Jahez International Company to strengthen their partnership, activating initiatives for charitable and community work, supporting working families and training young men and women in the province.

The agreement also covers the exchange of and participation in relevant studies and statistics to achieve the objectives of joint initiatives, empowering and developing the Diriyah community by providing opportunities for working families, offering training programs and offers and discounts to target groups and promoting events and initiatives to support community groups.

Jahez is one of the most important active partners for many community and charitable events organized by the DGDA, the most recent of which was the “Jahiziyat Al-Diriyah” initiative, during which the authority provided hundreds of free dishes from restaurants offering authentic Najd cuisine.

The initiative also featured many competitions and events during the holy month of Ramadan, introducing the historical monuments and the ancient human and cultural heritage in the land of kings and heroes.


Expats in Saudi Arabia welcome call for business fees for hiring them to be proportionate to wages

Expats in Saudi Arabia welcome call for business fees for hiring them to be proportionate to wages
Updated 17 September 2021

Expats in Saudi Arabia welcome call for business fees for hiring them to be proportionate to wages

Expats in Saudi Arabia welcome call for business fees for hiring them to be proportionate to wages
  • However they say the proposal by a Shoura Council member should also include the monthly fees they pay for dependents

RIYADH: Expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia on Thursday welcomed official calls for the fees businesses pay to hire foreigners to be revised so that they are proportionate to employees’ wages.
However they said that the fees expatriates themselves have to pay for dependents who live with them in the Kingdom should also be reviewed so that they, too, are wage proportionate.
The proposal for proportionate fees came this week from Hazza Al-Qahtani, a member of the Shoura Council. He said that the charges have become an obstacle to growth for small and medium enterprises in the Kingdom and need to be reviewed to help reduce their operating costs and ensure growth and sustainability.
In January 2018, Saudi Arabia introduced a fixed monthly fee, payable when a work permit (iqama) is extended, of SR400 ($107) for each foreign worker a business hires. It was reduced to SR300 for those that employ at least as many Saudis as expatriates. It increased to SR600 or SR500 in 2019 and to SR800 or SR700 last year.
Sultana Al-Badawi, also a member of the Shoura Council, said SMEs are facing challenges because of the financial burdens imposed on them and the administrative requirements dictated by a number of official bodies. She called for a review of procedures and an assessment the impact they have on the establishments.
Expatriates in the Kingdom said that they hope the fixed fees that they have to pay for their dependents living in the Kingdom will also be reviewed and made proportional to their wages.
Faiz Al-Najdi, a Pakistani expatriate working in Yanbu told Arab News: “What I understand is that it is a proposal to provide relief to the SMEs, which as of this year have to pay SR800 for each foreign worker before renewal of the iqama.”
But, he added, this will not provide any financial relief for the expatriate workers themselves, who have to pay SR400 a month for each family member living with them in the Kingdom. “It would be indeed a great relief to them if this levy is reduced or made proportional to income,” said Al-Najdi.
Raafat Aoun, a Lebanese national living in Jeddah, told Arab News that he has been waiting for almost two years for an announcement that the dependent fees will be abolished or reduced.
“It is good that a Shoura Council member is proposing to make expatriate fees proportional to income, but it should be both for companies and the expatriates who are paying for family dependents,” he said.
He said that both fees are huge financial burdens and added: “It is affecting the business of the SMEs. It is also not viable for expatriates to keep their families in the Kingdom. Decisions to reduce it or make it proportional to income will surely energize business activities and so add to the gross domestic product of the Kingdom, though I would prefer the expatriates fee to be abolished.”
Mohammad Arshad Ali Khan, a teacher at International Indian Public School in Riyadh, also welcomed the proposal.
“Saudi Arabia is a second home for all expatriates and we are looking for a favorable humanitarian decision from the Kingdom of humanity, which is undergoing changes as part of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s ambitious economic and social reforms,” he told Arab News.


Coalition forces intercept Houthi drone targeting Jazan

Arab coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki. (AFP/File Photo)
Arab coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 16 September 2021

Coalition forces intercept Houthi drone targeting Jazan

Arab coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki. (AFP/File Photo)
  • The militia, backed by Iran’s regime, regularly employs drones to target the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Arab Coalition said Thursday it destroyed a booby-trapped drone fired by the Houthi militia to target Jazan.

The coalition also said that, as always, it is “taking operational measures to protect civilian objects.”

The militia, backed by Iran’s regime, regularly employs drones to target the Kingdom and on Wednesday attempted to fire on Abha Airport.

It has targeted the airport in previous times, and in one of those attacks it left eight people wounded from shattered debris. 

Th coalition said the Houthi militia is continuing with its hostile attempts to deliberately target civilians.